A question that I frequently hear is “how do I know what stats I should pay attention to?”  The answer to this question is different for every business.  Your specific mix of social media, web, email, and other online technologies is most likely different from any other business.  But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a couple that are pretty universally important.

Assuming that you have a basic mix of web stats from a source like Google Analytics, an email platform like Constant Contact, and are doing more than simply looking at photos of cute puppies on social media, here are 5 stats that pretty much any business should be looking at and the context that they should be examining and comparing these numbers.  This items below are a mix of simple data-points and more complex comparisons.  But nothing that should be too challenging for most business owners.

1) Total Audience – this isn’t a stat found at any given point, its an aggregate of audience data across multiple platforms.  In a traditional media world, this would be the equivalent of “Reach”.  As it is measured in multiple places, don’t be under a delusion that this is necessarily a unique audience either.  It is simply how many users/visitors is your message reaching. It should include the following:

  • Website/blog visitors
  • Social Audience
  • Email List Size (only relevant if you are using it)
  • Any other online touchpoints of your brand that are under your control and measurable.

This is a stat that I would find a way to generate on a pretty regular basis (monthly at a minimum, daily or weekly if you want to really break-down your marketing activities) and track over time.  Pay attention to the ups and downs and track the growth rates and composition (percentage of each piece in the total) at the same time, not just the total.

2) Email Engagement – The basic measures of engagement in email is the click-through and the open.  Any worthwhile email platform that you use for email marketing should be able to give you these stats.  If people aren’t opening your emails, maybe they are ending up in spam or the subject line just isn’t resonating.  If clicks are dropping off, then the content isn’t engaging the reader.

3) Social Engagement – Each social platform measures engagement a little different.  But it really needs to represent more than just reach.  Engagement should be more in line with likes’s, shares, comments, or link clicks.  Most social platforms have a measure for this in their analytics.

4) Online Revenue – While some of this may come directly from online sources for some businesses, from a practical standpoint this should be coming from your financial records.  For a business that derives its entire revenue stream from online sources it could be as simple as total revenue.  For most businesses it is some subset of total revenue.

The key is to identify the revenue streams that are relevant to online.  Don’t automatically discount offline revenue however.  Think about your sales funnels.  Online visitors may turn in to offline purchasers after a little research or discovering an online coupon.  So there is definitely value here.  Some businesses look at the average transaction value and assume a conversion rate for online to offline buyers.

Just like the total audience, it is probably a good idea to see this as both an aggregated value and broken down by individual channels.  Website, social, and email may have completely different conversion rates, transaction values, and therefore different revenue.

This is a value that can easily be tracked at a monthly basis for most purposes.

5) Audience Value – basically this is your Online Revenue divided by your total audience.  But it is also very important to look at this at both an aggregated and

The goal of this exercise is to create a meaningful correlation between revenue and audience.  This will serve as a benchmark for marketing efforts and helps put these efforts into perspective from a cost standpoint.  For example, if the value of a single site visitor is $1 then it probably doesn’t make much sense to engage Cost-Per-Click ad campaigns at $1.25.

Like revenue, this value can also simply be tracked at a monthly level.


Getting the data isn’t really the hard part.  Once you get familiar with where to look its pretty easy to retrieve and perform any necessary calculations.  Setting up the information in an easy to consume and easy to use place is usually the trick and surprisingly one of the leading factors in why businesses just don’t use the data at their fingertips.

Measure, track, and use this data for insight into your digital marketing and you are leaps and bounds ahead of businesses who simply don’t look at their analytics.  For more information on strategies for making the most out of your digital marketing analytics contact Matt Swanson – 260-223-9202.

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